“The Best Film of the Year” people tend to use that term a lot, every film you see is branded with that slogan, not many can live up to the hype. The Social Network can. For me this “talking” film will hold the standard for every other film this year. Based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich and not their real life counterparts. Jesse Eisenberg brilliantly stars as Mark Zuckerberg the socially awkward sometimes arrogant creator of Facebook. “People want to know what their friends are doing, that’s what The Facebook is going to be about”. Written by the extraordinary Aaron Sorkin, the story follows Zuckerberg through the 2 lawsuits being filed against him. One by his “best friend” Eduardo Savin played by Andrew Garfield, for squeezing him out of the company, and the other by the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler, both played by Armie Hammer, for intellectual property theft. Through these lawsuits we see the ups and downs of a friendship, a business and how one socially inept college student becomes one of the richest men in the world. Also starring Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song and Rooney Mara. Directed by David Fincher.
After getting dumped by his girlfriend Erica (Mara) Mark Zuckerberg gets angry, drunk and blogs. When best friend Eduardo (Garfield) visits, Mark uses his algorithm to create “facemash” a website to which the purpose is to rate girls to determine who is hotter. He hacked into the database of the Harvard houses to get the pictures. The site was so popular it crashed the schools server. Everyone was talking about it, as this has never happened before. A lot of people were impressed, a lot of people weren’t, two people that were are Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Hammer). They approach Mark to help them create their website The Harvard Connection. Mark takes the premise of their idea to create “The Facebook” he believes that with his brains, Eduardo’s head for business and money together as co-founders they can go far.
Eduardo is invited to join a secret club, and Mark isn’t, this is the first wedge to come between them. The fact that they would pass him over and choose Eduardo is incomprehensible to Mark. Enter Sean Parker (Timberlake) the obsessively paranoid creator of Napster. After a meeting with Sean, where he tells them that if they do this right that they can be billionaires, Mark is sold, but Eduardo is not convinced. “Eduardo: the biggest contribution he made, Sean: drop the “the”. This is the second and largest wedge to come between Mark and Eduardo. It starts the series of event that turn these best friends and partners in business to strangers sitting on opposite sides of a deposition.
Jesse Eisenberg is spectacular as Mark Zuckerberg. Through his portrayal you really find yourself sympathising with the character. He honestly doesn’t realise the consequences to his actions. He doesn’t know how the rude, sometimes arrogant way he speaks affects people, he is so socially clueless. Eisenberg shows us that deep inside he just wants to be accepted by a world that will never understand him. Andrew Garfield is also quite spectacular as Eduardo Savin. Through his emotions he shows us that he truly believed that no matter how Mark acted to everyone else he would never betray him. We can really see his pain. When he is sitting across from Mark at the deposition, he can hardly look him in the eye. He is hurt, and Garfield really portrays that excellently.
A lot of credit has to go to Aaron Sorkin, the brilliant mind behind The West Wing and A Few Good Men. You may recognise him from his stint on Entourage where he played himself for a couple of episodes. This screenplay is so spectacularly written it reminds us that great performances are still left wanting, without a great script to go off. The idea of having the different depositions tell the back story, by different characters, lets you decide for yourself who you believe and who you root for. It’s those ideas that remind us the importance of a good script. David Fincher is a great director, and he really pulls this film together into the great package that it is.
This film deserves all the critical acclaim it received, it is spectacularly written and directed, and boasts some of the best performances I have ever seen. I strongly recommend to everyone.